Since it’s summer you might not be thinking of winter bicycling. Why not though? If you’re like most people, you’ll be out on a bicycle a few times during the nice weather this summer and you’ll feel how nice it is to ride. Remember that feeling! In the winter you really should be out riding your bike too, it’s still safe and it keeps you warm. Presently, some cities around the world encourage winter cycling but we should see even more winter cyclists every year as riding gains popularity.
Most assumptions about winter cycling are based on the same myths no matter where you are from. Those -30C days do happen in Winnipeg, but they are pretty uncommon; yet we allow the deep freeze days to characterise an entire winter. We also conveniently forget that cycling keeps you warm – comfortably so. In an urban environment, the risk of being harmed by the weather while cycling is reduced to nil with a basic scarf and jacket. We assume that winter cycling is dangerous but somehow we forget that vehicle speeds are the real issue, and that they drop in the winter. It shouldn’t be surprising when a study shows that cycling in the winter months with steady conditions is relatively safe compared to cycling in June.
When we wonder out loud “why anyone would ever want to spend more than a few minutes outside in a place like this”, we forget about its beauty. Winter is a glorious spectacle of glittering fractals complete with a soundscape and atmosphere entirely its own. Some of us have forgotten the bright side of winter: the simplicity, the efficiency, the pragmatism. In transportation terms, winter is all smooth, clean lines and quiet sounds. Bikes fit right in. Perhaps sitting in cars has dulled our senses.